Socialist Worker

Postal workers

Issue No. 1852

POSTAL WORKERS in London are continuing their pay campaign although the prospect of unofficial action is unlikely in the short term. London branch secretaries and reps met the CWU union's general secretary, Billy Hayes, last week.

Armed with a 99 percent vote for action in an unofficial ballot, they demanded that Billy Hayes start action to win a £4,000 London weighting. Billy Hayes said he supported the claim but could not say precisely what would happen if such a claim was rejected. But he did not rule out industrial action.

The London branch secretaries voted to give Billy Hayes until CWU conference, at the start of June, to take the matter further. It is a big step forward for rank and file pressure to force Billy Hayes to take up the issue. Yet there is a danger the momentum of the campaign will be lost if no action is taken in the near future.

The London division is going to present the ballot result to the offices of Royal Mail, Allan Leighton (the Post Office's top boss) and the Department for Trade and Industry. It is also very important to put out leaflets to the rest of Britain's postal workers explaining the case for improved London weighting.

The election result for CWU deputy general secretary was due this week. The campaign has seen the union split on regional lines. The responsibility for this lies with those supporters of John Keggie who whipped up division in an effort to get votes for their man. But there are also some that resorted to their own, much milder, version of regionalism in response.

Postal workers need united campaigns against the real enemy, the bosses and the government. The CWU held a 'National Day for Post Offices' on Monday which highlighted that people can still go to post offices to collect their benefits and pensions. This is despite the fact that the government have started to make payments directly into bank accounts.

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Sat 24 May 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1852
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